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By Devin Rose
The Park District of Oak Park is moving forward with renovation plans for Scoville Park even though the village is not moving forward with its end of the deal.
The village board was set to pay for granite paver surfacing at three of the four bump-out safety features to be installed at Oak Park Avenue and Ontario Street. But village trustees decided twice to table the item.
Using granite pavers would have driven the cost of the bump-out improvements to $94,968. The village board considered a revised proposal calling for simple concrete bump-outs — at a cost of $58,368 — at their meeting last week. In the end, the village board couldn't come to a decision on either amount.
The park district will pay for the installation of granite pavers at the intersection's southwest corner, said Project Manager Neil Adams.
The district plans to let the village know that work will be done on their one corner in the next 2-3 weeks.
The park district has been meeting with design consultants and the village engineer about the project. The plans were reviewed by the Greater Downtown Streetscape Design Committee, which recommended using the standard concrete, since it would save about $36,000.
The revised amount was up for vote on Aug. 6 but was pulled from the consent agenda by Village President David Pope.
Pope advised against contributing the proposed $58,368 since there are plans for Oak Park Avenue to be improved in six years. He also said there are alternatives worth looking into, like using thermoplastic crosswalk markings that would cost around $15,000.
Trustee Ray Johnson questioned why the village wouldn't want the three other corners at Ontario Street and Oak Park Avenue to match the one being done by the park district. He said the project should be uniform and stick to the original goal of improving pedestrian safety and accessibility.
Pope suggested keeping the curb lines the same and only investing in the crosswalk markings until the plans for Oak Park Avenue are finalized.
"I'm saying don't spend $58,000 to move curbs and concrete if there is the prospect that you're going to change them," Pope said.
After much discussion, the issue was tabled and will go back to village staff for further review.
Workers are putting in a new playground, pathways and tennis courts, lights and a Peace Plaza around the World War I memorial, and planting more than 100 trees during the Scoville Park renovation project, which will close the entire park beginning Aug. 20.
Most of the work should be done by the winter, though some landscaping may stretch into the spring.
Anna Lothson contributed to this report.